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May 24, 2007

Pure devotion gives twins a start to life

From: The Leader - St. George Sutherland Shire Leader - Sydney,NSW,Australia - May 24, 2007

By Belinda Connolly

TWINS Jacob and Samuel Carroll of Cronulla are proof that a shaky start to life does not mean the end of the world.
The unborn babies were diagnosed with twin to twin transfusion, where blood from one twin is transfused into the other.
Specialist surgery in the UK was Katrina Carroll's only chance of continuing with the pregnancy, but it was risky.
Along with her husband Brendan, she was given a one in three chance of both babies surviving, a one in three chance of losing one, and the same odds for losing both babies. There was also a chance that both babies would develop cerebral palsy.
Thankfully, Jacob and Samuel survived the prenatal surgery and are now 15 months old.
''It was touch and go for the first week,'' said Mrs Carroll. ''Samuel went from strength to strength, but Jacob had heart failure and so much wrong.''
Tests revealed Jacob had profound deafness and he was diagnosed later with cerebral palsy in all four limbs.
''The deafness was a real shock,'' Mrs Carroll said. Both boys are happy, curious about their surroundings and laugh often.
The family has remained positive and are now expecting another baby.
''We used to think it was just dire and have obviously realised that is not the case,'' Mrs Carroll said.
Jacob has appointments every day including early intervention support and assessments for Cochlear implants.
''I honestly don't feel we're hindered in any way,'' Mr Carroll said.
''To us he's perfectly normal and they're both so happy.''

A spokeswoman from the Spastic Centre, where Jacob receives treatment, said twins were four times more likely to be diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP) than single babies.
Of all twin births, in 90 per cent of cases one twin will have CP, and in 10 per cent of cases both twins will have CP.
The Spastic Centre, is celebrating 60 years this year and has a range of services at sites in NSW including Penshurst.
The CP Helpline is 1300302920.

© 2006. The Leader.